First Tracks kicks off the season with ‘Knock On Wood’ premiere |

First Tracks kicks off the season with ‘Knock On Wood’ premiere

Dan Thomas, Lake Tahoe Action

Carrie Reiter/ First Tracks Productions Jordan Nield soars off a kicker at Sierra-at-Tahoe Mountain Resort.

First Tracks Productions might not need any lucky charms to ensure that “Knock On Wood” enjoys a big premiere at the MontBleu Casino Resort & Spa.

“It’s a good way to kick off our season,” said Anthony Cupaiuolo, the self-identified supreme allied commander for the South Shore producer of seven snowboard movies, including the newest, which will premiere Saturday, Oct. 11, in the MontBleu theater. “We had a dusting of snow the other night, and it was cool to wake up and see that.”

With a screen big enough to do justice to the huge tricks and epic days that “Knock On Wood” highlights, as well as big prizes including a Sierra-at-Tahoe season pass, a Head snowboard and a pass to the Sierra Athletic Club, the signs point to a big opening. So does precedent: First Tracks’ past two premieres drew between 800 and 1,000 guests to the MontBleu theater.

“We weren’t quite at capacity, but I’d say we were at least three-quarters full for the event,” Cupaiuolo said.

First Tracks’ seventh release is available in ski and snowboard shops, but Saturday’s event marks its big-screen debut as well as an opportunity to pay tribute to the riders and production crews.

“It’s one of the things where, obviously, this isn’t the first time that everybody there’s going to see it,” Cupaiuolo said. “I think there’ll be a good amount of people who haven’t seen it yet, and none of us, me included, have seen it on a screen that big.”

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“Knock On Wood” highlights a number of South Shore riders and locales. In particular, Cupaiuolo expects a special post-season session at Sierra-at-Tahoe to translate particularly well in the large format. Mike Abeliuk, and his re-creation in snow of a BMX rhythm section, stands out among a group of snowboarders who hit up Sierra after the last day.

“He’s been in every single project and he has the opening footage in the movies this year.”

Cupaiuolo estimated that about two-thirds of “Knock On Wood” takes place at Tahoe or nearby before the movie closes with a sequence featuring local riders Cody Lewis and Chase Harriman hitting pillow lines in Idaho.

The premiere is open to moviegoers of all ages, and a 21-and-older party will follow at Opal Ultra Lounge. The musical guest for the after-party is named, appropriately enough, Tree Woodz, who recently played a party for First Tracks’ Reno-based sponsor Sentury Snowboards.

Tree Woodz’s MySpace page likens the Illinois-based act’s hip-hop to a nature reserve filled with music’s most influential urban legends. William Woods describes his music as raw, real and exclusive, yet positive and powerful, highlighting a line from the song “We Can Win”: “People pick up a book eliminate ignorance, and before you pick up a gun come up with a plan and believe in your cause.”

First Tracks already has a plan for next year’s movie, the firm’s eighth release, and plans to be out working on it as soon as the snow falls. Before then, moviegoers will have a chance to see the eighth movie.

“We’re trying to push it this year and go for our biggest number,” Cupaiuolo said.